Sir Kim Darroch, Britain’s ambassador to the United States, has resigned after leaked diplomatic cables revealed a blistering critique of US President Donald Trump and his administration.
The memos, obtained by The Mail on Sunday, span a two-year period and paint a “dysfunctional” picture of the president and the White House. Darroch referred to the president as diplomatically “clumsy and inept,” and said he “radiates insecurity.”
Darroch resigned his post in a letter sent to Sir Simon McDonald, the U.K. Foreign Office’s most senior official, released Wednesday.
“Since the leak of official documents from this embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador,” Darroch wrote. “I want to put an end to that speculation. The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like.”
Darroch said his post was “not due to end until the end of this year,” but he believed “in the current circumstances the responsible course is to allow the appointment of a new ambassador.”
McDonald, in response, said he accepted Darroch’s resignation “with deep personal regret.” He praised Darroch for behaving “as you always behaved over a long and distinguished career, with dignity, professionalism and class” and lamented how he’d been “the target of a malicious leak” when “simply doing your job.”
“I understand your wish to relieve the pressure on your family and your colleagues at the Embassy,” McDonald added. “I admire the fact that you think more of others than yourself. You demonstrate the essence of the values of British public service.”
Theresa May, the U.K.’s outgoing prime minister, said she regretted Darroch’s resignation. “This morning I have spoken to Sir Kim Darroch. I have told him that it is a matter of great regret that he has felt it necessary to leave his position,” May told Parliament.
Jeremy Hunt, the U.K. foreign secretary, announced he was “deeply saddened” by the news and said he was “sure that our Ambassadors worldwide will continue to provide the objective and rigorous reporting that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has always prized.”
“I profoundly regret how this episode has led Sir Kim to decide to resign,” Hunt added. “He deserves to look back upon his career as a servant of Britain with the greatest satisfaction and pride.”
After the memos were made public, Trump attacked Darroch on Twitter, saying he would “no longer deal with him.”
“I do not know the Ambassador, but he is not liked or well thought of within the U.S.,” the president said. “We will no longer deal with him.”
A day later, Trump continued tearing into the ambassador, calling him “wacky” and “a very stupid guy.”
“I don’t know the Ambassador but have been told he is a pompous fool,” the president wrote on Twitter.
Darroch leaves his position after three years as ambassador to the U.S. He has served as a British diplomat for nearly three decades.